The Biz Meets Tech Demo has been built with Amazon Connect and the Biz Meets Tech Lightning engine.
Amazon Connect is an enterprise grade call center “Platform as a Service”. The Biz Meets Tech Lightning engine has been designed to dramatically decrease enterprise deployment times of Amazon Connect, and make ongoing changes and maintenance significantly simpler.
The demo complexity is similar to that of a system supporting a typical multisite 200-400 seat call center operation. Only 30 Amazon Connect blocks in total were needed to build the custom functions of this demo. All other functionality was built with Lightning configuration and predefined Lighting contact flows.
If you would like to try this demo yourself, or are considering a project that could benefit from the Lightning engine, email me at or give me a call at
When the IVR answers, the caller is presented with a language selection prompt. The demo IVR is multilingual, supporting English and French. Text translations are automatically done using machine translation. After initial language selection, all prompts are dynamically selected based on the language. There is no need to build separate flows per language.
After the language selection, you are presented with the main menu. From the main menu, you can access four demos.
This demo simulates a typical contact center menu tree. Based on selections, you will be transferred to a queue or an external number. When the call has been fully classified, it is assigned a two level call reason. While you’re in queue, the hold music is periodically interrupted with a message that is based on the call reason. In practice, the call reason is attached to the call record, so call demand and performance on individual call types can be analyzed. It also can be “popped” to the agent, to inform the agent of the customer’s need.
As there is no one available to answer the call, you will remain in queue until you hang up.
Some things to try:
- Transfer to external number - Navigate to Main IVR demo/Connect with our other services. You’ll be presented with a menu with 3 choices that will dial external numbers.
- Zero Out - Navigate to Main IVR demo/Sales. The zero key is enabled, and will transfer to the queue with call reason "Sales/Zero Out". Since Sales represents a revenue potential, providing quick access to the Agent is appropriate. The zero key is disabled at all other levels.
- Struggling Customer - Press an invalid key 3 times in a row. You’ll be transferred to a queue with call reason "Retries/Speak with a representative".
Note that this demo was built solely through Lightning configuration.
This demo simulates a typical post call customer survey. The Lightning survey block handles all aspects of the survey based on configuration, and returns the result digits. A small custom Amazon Connect flow uses Lightning functions to build the results message that is played to the caller (“Your survey results were as follows:….”), and optionally sends the results as an SMS message to the caller.
Because we can. Follow the menu tree to the bottom (if you dare). If you exit early, you’ll hear what level menu you made it to. The count starts from the main menu.
Customer Entry, Lookup and Validation
A simulated PIN reset scenario is shown. At the start of the call, your current 5 digit PIN is 12345. You are asked to enter your current PIN (12345), then enter your new 5 digit PIN, and re-enter it. If your entries do not match, you are prompted to retry. Note that if you try the demo again during the same call, your new PIN is used as the current PIN.
This demo is representative of a custom contact flow that you might need in your deployment. Though the flow is custom, no code was required. All PIN validation logic and dynamic prompts are done using Lightning.
Amazon Connect is changing the high availability call center landscape by eliminating virtually all of the base system deployment, license management and ongoing maintenance. Amazon is also looking to mobilize the large AWS developer population by creating an environment that is familiar to them.
However, knowing how to use the toolset is a very small part of building a successful call center system. Biz Meets Tech was started specifically because the vast majority of call centers struggle with getting call center systems to reliably meet their fundamental needs. It’s not that their technology is bad - indeed almost any system can be configured to do the job.
But, real world call centers are messy, constantly changing operations. It's left to the implementer to understand everything. The operational complexity, contact center best practices and every workgroup's assumptions have to be translated into a workable system within the bounds of the technology. What seemed simple at the outset becomes unwieldy, convoluted and often unmaintainable.
In my Biz Meets Tech engagements, I developed a methodology and an IVR/queue structure that could be overlaid on top of another vendor's system to address these issues. The architecture of Amazon Connect made it possible to take these concepts to the next level, and translate the methodology to an easy to use application.
What Does Lightning Provide?
- Call center structures, “best practices” and standard components that support real world enterprise call centers are built in
- All configuration is moved from within the Amazon Connect blocks and wiring into a central configuration
- Menus and call flows are built in a table-like editor, and the IVR structure is visible at a single glance, at the appropriate level of detail
- Hours of operation and holiday treatments are built in at various levels
- Error handling and flow tracking is inherent
Most or all of your call flows, menus and queue deployment can be built using Lightning. However, Lightning in no way restricts you from integrating custom flows that you create using the Amazon Connect tools. It’s extremely easy to do, and you can take advantage of Lighting facilities such as string manipulation, counters, external prompts/variables, translations, etc, to simplify and speed up your custom development.
If you would like to try this demo yourself, or are considering a project that could benefit from the Lightning engine, email me at or call me at